Cook Inlet beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, are currently listed as ‘Endangered’ under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) began monitoring this population during the 1990s after it was added to the ESA Candidate Species list in 1988. Monitoring efforts included aerial surveys, and in 1995, the first attempts to capture and satellite-tag whales. Working with Canadian scientists and Alaska Native subsistence hunters in 1995 and 1997, tagging methods were adapted to conditions in Cook Inlet (muddy water, extreme tides, and extensive mudflats), culminating in successful capture and tracking of a whale during the summer of 1999. This was followed by three more years of capture and tagging studies during late summer. Tags were attached to 18 whales between 1999 and 2002.